Oct. 9, 2009 UPDATE: #Tmobilestillsucks was a brief trending topic this morning on Twitter. Looks like people are still annoyed! 🙂
Earlier this week, the trending topic #Tmobilesucks (and other variations) became a huge hit on Twitter. That means that THOUSANDS of people were talking about how much T-Mobile “sucks” and what they don’t like about it.
How can T-Mobile even begin to fix this public relations nightmare?! There is no way that they can reach out to every person that is complaining about their service via social media (and literal word of mouth). People take information they find out from their friends or followers on facebook, digg, twitter, etc. and pass it on, just like gossip around the water cooler. Except in this case, the “water cooler” turns out to have a reach of thousands (or even millions) of people in a time span of a day to even a few hours.
For many businesses, bad press may be a given problem with any nationwide service. However, social media can take one person’s complaints and spread them faster than the bubonic plague. The epic proportions of social media make it impossible for any organization to be completely on top of what everyone is saying about them, all the time.
However, there are some proactive steps companies can take in order to stay up-to-date (as best they can) with what people are saying about them online.
Google Alerts- Set up a free Google Alert that sends an email every week, day, or as-it-happens to your email for each instance someone blogs or writes about your company online. Go to the News Section of the site, search for your company name, and then there will be an option to set-up an alert.
Social Mention- Social Mention is a free service that allows you to search for company names, topics, or individual’s names. It also has free analytics, like major keywords, if the “talk” is mostly positive or negative, etc. You can also subscribe to these terms, much like Google Alerts.
Twitter Mentions- Regularly looking at ‘@’ mentions on your Twitter account shows people who are talking to you, repeating what you say, and crediting (or criticizing) you for something.
Just staying proactive and top of what people are saying (not only about your company specifically) will help you maintain a positive image online.